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Flanders ballad in Polish--fun project!

DigiTrad:
BINNORIE
BINNORIE (TWO SISTERS)
CRUELISH SISTER
OH, THE WIND AND RAIN (The Two Sisters)
THE CRUEL SISTER
THE SWAN SWIMS BONNIE (Two Sisters)
THE SWAN SWIMS BONNIE (Two Sisters)
THE TWA SISTERS
THE TWO SISTERS (7)
THE TWO SISTERS (8)
THE TWO SISTERS (9)
THE WIND AND RAIN (Two Sisters)
TWO SISTERS (12)
TWO SISTERS (13)
TWO SISTERS (Bonnie Broom)


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Nancy-Jean 20 Nov 99 - 07:13 PM
Barry Finn 20 Nov 99 - 10:52 PM
Nancy-Jean 21 Nov 99 - 08:44 AM
Judy Cook 21 Nov 99 - 10:19 PM
Nancy-Jean 01 Dec 99 - 09:59 AM
lamarca 01 Dec 99 - 11:58 AM
Nancy-Jean 01 Dec 99 - 02:14 PM
Philippa 02 Dec 99 - 12:17 PM
Philippa 04 Dec 99 - 04:36 AM
Nancy-Jean 06 Dec 99 - 08:10 PM
Philippa 07 Dec 99 - 06:12 PM
Nancy-Jean 08 Dec 99 - 07:07 AM
lamarca 08 Dec 99 - 05:26 PM
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Subject: Flanders ballad in Polish--fun project!
From: Nancy-Jean
Date: 20 Nov 99 - 07:13 PM

In 1934, Helen Hartness Flanders accompanied by Phillips Barry visited a Mrs. Stankiewiez in Springfield, Vermont and collected ballads on a dictaphone recorder. Both collectors were very excited about this singer. The reason? She sang her ballads in Polish and one of the songs, "Dwie Siostry" turned out to be a version of Child #10 ("Twa Sisters"). I have a fun project related to this ballad and am asking for help.

I am going to Poland for Christmas. I would like to bring this ballad back to Poland as it was recorded here(thank you, Library of Congress) along with the text (thank you, Dick Swain). I would like to meet people like us and to describe this ballad's journey from Poland to Springfield, Vermont. I would also like to bring with me as many "Twa Sisters" versions--known to us here (on tape) as possible to play for folks there. Good friends like Judy Cook and Mary Lamarca have already volunteered to make tapes of their "sisters". No pun intended, ladies.

Here's how I could use help: I would welcome 1)any information or specific contacts of folk people in Warsaw. The people I am staying with are not folkies, but they are willing to arrange for me to meet people, and 2) tapes you might be willing to provide of the "two sisters".

This may or may not work. But the preparation sure is fun!


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Subject: RE: Flanders ballad in Polish--fun project!
From: Barry Finn
Date: 20 Nov 99 - 10:52 PM

Hi Nancy-Jean, Bingo, seeing this thread I went searching again for the guy I'd mentioned before. Here are his perticulars. Marek Jarakski, UL. Dickenja 29/216
02-382 Warsaw, tel. 04826582760, you'd be sure to find of him if you can't find him by asking about him on any of these Polish tall ships. The Dar Mlodziezy, Iskra, Le Pogoria & the best bet would be on the Zawisza Czarny where he was/is? 1st mate. Marek is considered to be the father of the Sea Music revival ( & he's probably the first & only one I'll ever see play a concertina onboard a moving ship while standing, giving orders to the crew to set sail) throughout the Eastern Block nations.Though he may not be your best bet for the kind of music you're seeking he certinally could point you in a good direction. He's also the one that gave me London Judies & Roller Bowler, so if you see him thank him again for me. Have a great time. Barry


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Subject: RE: Flanders ballad in Polish--fun project!
From: Nancy-Jean
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 08:44 AM

Thanks, Barry. I will forward this information to my friends in Warsaw.


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Subject: RE: Flanders ballad in Polish--fun project!
From: Judy Cook
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 10:19 PM

Hi Nancy-Jean,

I know many of us will be interested to hear how this project progresses.

--Judy


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Subject: RE: Flanders ballad in Polish--fun project!
From: Nancy-Jean
Date: 01 Dec 99 - 09:59 AM

The Latest from Warsaw: my Polish friends have found people through the Department of Musicology at Warsaw University who know ballads. We have an appointment for January 3 to meet them and share versions of "Two Sisters".

I am still collecting tapes. If you have a version of Child Ballad #10, I'd love to include it in my gift exchange.


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Subject: RE: Flanders ballad in Polish--fun project!
From: lamarca
Date: 01 Dec 99 - 11:58 AM

Hi, Nancy-Jean! I'm going to try to get mine on tape tonight. I got my Polish co-worker, Marzena, to translate a greeting into Polish AND teach me how to pronounce it correctly! My mother's first language was Polish, but she un-learned it as soon as she went to public school in Gary, Indiana. None of us kids speak a word of it, therefore!

I learned the version I sing from Claudine Languille and Triona ni Dhomnaill when they were singing together in Touchstone; they never recorded it, but Claudine gave me the words. It's the one with the final verse:

The miller was hanged by the mountain stead
Sing aye-dum, sing aye-day
The miller was hanged by the mountain stead
The boys are bound for me
The miller was hanged by the mountain stead
The eldest sister was boiled in lead
Oh, I'll be true unto my love,
If he'll be true to me...

It's done to an innappropriately jaunty tune. Someone said to me that this version was recorded by Clannad, but it sure sounds American to me. I know that the "Two Sisters" has been discussed on Mudcat in the past - anyone out there know the origin of this particular version?


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Subject: RE: Flanders ballad in Polish--fun project!
From: Nancy-Jean
Date: 01 Dec 99 - 02:14 PM

Thanks Mary. I appreciate your spirit and your participation. I'm tickled you are putting on a greeting in Polish. Could you also give me the text written out? Sounds like your tune might be one folks would like to try to sing.

One of the side benefits of this project is the chance to have a good look at the "Two Sisters", noting where the ballad meandered and how the story underwent an international folk process. The Poles have told my friends they think they know how the ballad originated. This should be interesting.


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Subject: RE: Flanders ballad in Polish--fun project!
From: Philippa
Date: 02 Dec 99 - 12:17 PM

Very interesting!! Please e-mail me re a contact in Poland; I don't have his address in hand at the moment. Philippa
comhfhreagras@hotmail.com


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Subject: re: Hanseatic League
From: Philippa
Date: 04 Dec 99 - 04:36 AM

There were trade connections between Scandinavia and Poland via the Baltic Sea, and maybe the Poles got the Two Sisters from Scandinavia as the Scots did. There have also been substantial links between Scotland and Poland. It might be worth contacting personel of folk museums in the region of Gdansk / Gydinia.

Poland is a large country and several styles of folk music can be found there. I was in Poland in 1995. I heard a fiddler at a festival at Kazimierz-Dolny whose music sounded to me like Swedish fiddle music. I was surprised to learn that he came from the interior of the country and not from the Baltic region.

Of course there's been a lot of population shift. When I spoke to people about their backgrounds, it was common that they did not live in the same area as their parents or grandparents. Sadly, Poland lost much of its ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity in WWII and after.


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Subject: RE: Flanders ballad in Polish--fun project!
From: Nancy-Jean
Date: 06 Dec 99 - 08:10 PM

I have just received a tape of the original recording made in 1934 of Polish songs collected by Flanders and Barry. I'm sure the engineers at the Library of Congress did all they could, but the quality is very poor.In fact, if you played it for a crowd that didn't gives a hoot about the history of the ballad there would be a lot of stiffled laughter. Unfortunately,in those days not all of the old field recordings were routinely re-recorded as the better machines came along. Fortunately, for this idealistic little project, Phillips Barry and Helen Hartness Flanders did manage to collect the lyrics in Polish. That is enough to see whether people in Warsaw in 1999 recognize the song.

Meanwhile, a lovely "Two Sisters" sung by Joan Sprung arrived in the same mail. Sharing what we sing is half what this is about. Thanks to you who are sending contributions!


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Subject: RE: Flanders ballad in Polish--fun project!
From: Philippa
Date: 07 Dec 99 - 06:12 PM

When I was in Poland I also went to a Jewish Cultural Festival in Krakow which featured a lot of Klezmer music. Michael Alpert of 'Brave New World' taught the dance workshop. Alpert is an American who writes songs in Yiddish. I was very impressed that he taught through the medium of Polish. He could be a good person to contact before you go. I think he works at NYU??

The cassette I have of Brave New World gives the following contact addresses for the band:

Mr Mitch Greenhill
Folklore Productions
1871 Appian Way
Santa Monica, Ca 90401
tel (213) 451-0767
fax (213) 458-6005

Ms Rita Ottens
Bernberger Str. 18
1000 Berlin 61
(030) 261 74 32
fax: (030) 261 91 76

You might get more up to date information via a websearch or from other Mudcatteers.


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Subject: RE: Flanders ballad in Polish--fun project!
From: Nancy-Jean
Date: 08 Dec 99 - 07:07 AM

Thanks. Interesting coincidence. I attend Pinewoods Folk Week last summer and Michael Alpert was on the staff. His workshops were very impressive. I will email him.


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Subject: RE: Flanders ballad in Polish--fun project!
From: lamarca
Date: 08 Dec 99 - 05:26 PM

Philippa, isn't that "Brave Old World"? I got to hear them while working the National Folk Fest in Dayton, OH, a couple years ago. At one of the parties afterwards, their accordion player was jamming with the accordion player from the Mexican band we had there. It's that kind of cross-cultural music swapping that makes working festivals so much fun!


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